"Lion's Pride"

By Penumbren

Disclaimer: No one belongs to me.
Distribution: ask first
Rating: NC-17
Characters: Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Triple H
Content: Angst, lotsa mushiness, sex. Mild spoilers for Wrestlemania XIX.
Author's Note: I originally wrote this shortly after seeing Wrestlemania XIX. The relationship between these two just screams for slash!

Milky Way bar


Shawn groaned as he trudged up the ramp, leaning on the ref, clutching his back. He tried to smile, to wave at the fans, but the pain in his back made it hard for him to think about anything else. As they got to the back hall, he waved off the ref, determined to walk at least to the locker room by himself. He had to stop, to lean against the wall, but got there under his own power. He sank down onto the bench in front of his locker, just breathing for a minute. With a groan, he stood up and stripped off his clothes, grabbing a towel and heading for the showers, too tired and too sore to really be aware of his surroundings.

He didn't realise that the showers were occupied until he was standing in front of a showerhead, when the sound of running water finally penetrated the haze surrounding him. Turning his head, he nearly groaned again when he saw who the other occupant was. /Just my luck. Of course it's Jericho. Who else could it possibly be? I don't need this now./

Shawn couldn't keep his eyes from traveling over Jericho's body, fascinated by the sight, until he realised what he was doing and quickly turned his head, hoping that Jericho hadn't seen him. /I must be sick. Little egomaniac just beat the shit out of me, and I'm fucking panting over him. That's all I'd need, to give him a show. Of all people.../ Shawn reflected moodily that his feelings for Jericho weren't exactly new, but it was cold comfort as he soaped up, wobbling on his feet from the pain in his back.

He washed his hair, sighing as the sweat and dirt swirled down the drain, moving to soaping up his body. He rolled his balls in his hand as he washed them, his eyes drifting shut as he enjoyed the feeling, soothing after the throbbing bruised pain caused by Jericho's low blow earlier. His eyes snapped open as he heard a noise from the side, his head turning to see Jericho standing near him, staring, obviously turned on by what he was seeing. /Jesus. He can't be... no, he is. He's watching me touch myself. Christ!/ A shudder went through Shawn at the thought and his hand fell away, pausing before he finished washing the soap off the rest of his body. He turned off the water and reached for his towel, only looking up when it wasn't there.

"Looking for something?" Jericho taunted him. Shawn wasn't surprised to see Jericho only a few feet away, holding the towel.

"What do you want, Jericho?" he asked in a weary voice. Jericho smirked.

"Only what you seem to be offering, Michaels." His eyes swept over Shawn's body. Shawn tensed, hoping that he wasn't interpreting Jericho's words correctly.

"What do you mean?"

"Oh, please. You know exactly what I mean. We've all heard the stories about you. Everybody knows that you're the prize slut of the Fed, Michaels. I just want some of what everyone else has had." Shawn's eyes narrowed as he glared at Jericho, suddenly very self-conscious, as he never was, of his own nakedness. /Damn him. How dare he say this to me! No one thinks... everyone knows... No!/

"Fuck you, Jericho!" he spat. "I'm not up for bid, and if that's what you think, you're sadly mistaken."

"Ooh, hit a sore spot, did I? Come on, Michaels, I've heard about you---blowing teammates in the locker room, getting fucked over a bench in front of everybody, having a three-way in the showers... Have you really changed, or do you just think you're too good for me?" Jericho's voice dripped scorn as he moved closer to Shawn, trying to stare him down.

Shawn forced himself to meet Jericho's eyes, not to stare at his cock, bobbing in front of him as he moved. /Dear God, what have I done to deserve this? The rumours I can live with, I've done plenty to deserve them... but to have them come back at me now, from him?/

"Sure, people've walked in on things, Jericho. What you've obviously neglected to find out is who I was with. I only go down for people I care about, and that's a damned select group. It sure as hell doesn't include anyone who happens to walk into a locker room with a chip on his shoulders and an ego bigger than this building." Shawn grabbed his towel away from Jericho, threw it over his shoulders, and stalked out of the room, his mind in turmoil.

He ripped open his locker door, reaching for his clothes, not seeing anything through the angry blur in his eyes. /Goddamn him! Damn him for assuming, damn him for asking, damn him for being such an asshole! Of all people.../ He jumped as a hand suddenly landed on his shoulder, swinging around with his hands up in front of him, ready for anything.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Calm down, Shawn, it's just me." Shawn looked up into Hunter's concerned eyes, blinking hard at the expression he saw there.

"Hey," he said softly. "So... you heard, huh?" Hunter nodded, his brow furrowing as he looked at Shawn.

"Yeah. He had no right to say that to you, Shawn. None of it's true." He paused. "Well, okay, so maybe doing you in the locker room wasn't the brightest idea, but it sounded good at the time. You're damned hard to resist, you know." He smirked a little.

Shawn tried to smile, saying, "Yep, that's me, Mister Irresistible." To his complete embarrassment, he felt tears starting and he lowered his head, looking away from Hunter as they fell, no matter how hard he tried to stop them. "Damn it!"

Strong arms wrapped around him, pulling him close as Hunter embraced him, holding him while he cried. Hunter used one hand to rest Shawn's head on his shoulder, stroking his hair, his other hand caressing and rubbing Shawn's back. He was silent until Shawn quieted a few minutes later.

"You really care what he thinks, don't you?"

The quiet question almost undid Shawn. He reddened slightly as he met Hunter's eyes, then looked down again, but not quickly enough.

"You do! God, Shawn, don't tell me you've fallen for the little prick?" Hunter's voice was incredulous, but there was a glint in his eyes.

"Dammit, Hunt, it's none of your business!" Hunter laughed as Shawn tried to pull back from him.

"Yes, it is, Shawn. Always has been, always will be. See, it's my business to take care of the people I love, to make sure that they're taking care of themselves. And I love you, you idiot." He leaned back a little, running his eyes up and down Shawn's body with an appreciative smirk. Shawn smiled back in spite of himself, the pain from Jericho's words easing at Hunter's easy statement. He postured a little, stretching, his cock twitching at the sudden heat in Hunter's gaze, and he leaned in for a kiss. Hunter wrapped his hand around Shawn's head, pulling him close and grabbing his ass with his other hand. Shawn moaned as Hunter deepened the kiss, his tongue sliding past Shawn's lips, his hips bucking against Hunter's crotch. He moaned again as Hunter pulled away, his eyes dark and his breathing fast.

"Shawn, as much as I love you, I don't think this is the time or the place..." Hunter paused, his lips quirking as he finished, "...unless you want to add another story to our infamy?" Shawn sighed and nodded.

"You're right. Much as I normally wouldn't care, I don't think my back can take a bench tonight." The pain in his back, forgotten amidst his emotional turmoil, had returned and he winced before smiling at Hunt, wiggling his ass in Hunter's grasp, enjoying the slight gasp that it provoked. "Let me get dressed, Hunt, or you'll be late for your match and Vince will want to know why." Hunter reluctantly released his hold, and Shawn pulled his clothes on as quickly as he could, throwing the rest of his things into his bag.

"Speaking of your match, shouldn't you be getting ready for that?"

"Nah, I'm ready. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. That was an absolutely amazing match, but you took a lot." Hunter shrugged. "I was worried." Shawn smiled.

"Thanks. I'm fine. Really!" he added, throwing his hands up in an expression of innocence as Hunter frowned at him. "I'll be fine. Go kick some ass. I'll watch on the monitors in the back room... after I take some painkillers." He stole one last kiss from Hunter as they left the locker room, trying to forget the lingering twinge in his heart.


/God DAMN it, I'm a fucking idiot!/ Chris fumed to himself in the shower room, his cock throbbing as he watched Shawn walk out of the showers. /Shit!/ He wrapped his hand around his weeping erection, stroking roughly as he brought himself off, his mind's eye seeing Shawn's ass, his eyes, his lips... Orgasm came quickly and violently, leaving him shuddering against the wall for a few minutes.

/God damn. I've had a crush on the man for years, finally have a chance to let him know how I feel, and my fucking ego ends up talking instead of me. Fuck!/ He pounded his fist against the wall, not caring about the pain shooting through his wrist. He stopped suddenly, his head jerking up as he heard voices from the other room. He wrapped his towel around his waist as he walked toward the doorway, stopping just out of sight, glaring at the sight in front of him.

/From declaring himself too good for me to throwing himself into Triple H's arms. Right. Just what I wanted to see. Wait... what the hell? Is Shawn... crying...?/ Chris's eyes widened as he watched Triple H hold Shawn.

He strained to hear what was said as they started talking again, but missed the first part of their conversation due to their low voices. He did hear Triple H telling Shawn that he loved him, in that fond, loving tone of voice... it set his teeth on edge. But the kiss that followed captured his attention, his eyes drinking in the sight before him: Shawn writhing in Triple H's arms, moaning... Chris bit back a moan of his own as his cock jumped to attention again. He watched as Shawn dressed, hearing what was said, and stood there, alone in the shadows, as the other two men walked out of the room. /Dammit. I really hurt his back. I wonder if what I said hurt him, too? He must've heard it before.../

Chris waited long enough to make sure that neither of them were returning to the locker room, then hurried out and dressed, heading for the back room. He arrived a short while after Shawn did, finding the room packed with other wrestlers, their families, and various other crew members and guests. He absent-mindedly acknowledged several slaps on the back and compliments on the match from the others, his eyes only for Shawn, who didn't even glance at him as he entered the room, his attention focused on the television in front of him. Chris sighed, feeling vaguely disappointed, and sought an empty corner to stand in. He paid only partial attention to most of the matches, watching Shawn instead.


Shawn walked slowly into the back room, setting his bag down and getting a cup of water as he dug out his painkillers, grimacing as he swallowed a couple. He made his way through the crowded room, nodding and smiling at the people as they congratulated him on the match and asked how he was doing.

"Fine, just fine. Thanks. I'm pretty proud of how it came out, too." He forced a smile to his face as he found a chair close to the larger television. He set his feet up on another chair in front of him, taking some of the pressure off his back, a sigh of relief escaping him as the pain started to lessen. He watched the other matches with half-hearted interest until Hunter and Booker T's came up. He smirked at Hunter's bragging during the match's intro. /So totally unlike his real self. He has such fun playing an asshole./ The drugs working, he was able to get comfortable and pay closer attention to the match, holding his breath a few times, applauding both competitors' skills, laughing at Flair's interference, thrilled when Hunter won. /The announcers could've shut up, though. There're only so many times you can hear King calling Booker a thug before it's not funny anymore./

He waited impatiently for Hunter to join the throng in the back room, greeting him with a blinding smile when he finally walked in, hair still damp from the shower. A few people looked at him oddly, but he didn't care. /If anyone here doesn't know about us, about me, by now, they're about to find out./ Hunter grabbed a chair and swung up close behind Shawn, sitting backwards in the chair so he could lean his head beside Shawn's and wrap his arms around him, a position good for limited cuddling and quiet conversation.

"Good match, you sneaky bastard. You're not hurt, are you?" Shawn grinned up at him. Hunter grinned back.

"Not really. Ric and I have been working on some surprises for the last few months. There'll be more, I promise."

"As long as a few of them involve you, me, a bed, and some handcuffs..." Shawn's smirk was interrupted by Hunter's lips, covering his in an intense kiss. He finally pulled away with a gasp. "Trying to give the poor newbies a heart attack, Hunt?"

"Nope. Just couldn't help myself, with your lips that close." Hunter paused for a moment, making Shawn turn to look curiously at him. "Hey. Y'know Jericho's here, right?" Shawn shook his head.

"I hadn't noticed, actually. The painkillers took a while to kick in, and then it was your match... I haven't been paying attention to much else." Shawn glanced around, catching a glimpse of Jericho in a corner behind Hunter, leaning against a wall, arms crossed, looking distinctly unhappy. He frowned.

"He's been watching you, you know."

Shawn looked at Hunter, surprised.


Hunter nodded.

"I saw him as I was coming in, so I stood back and watched him for a few minutes. He hasn't taken his eyes off you. You don't think..." Hunter trailed off, and Shawn shook his head.

"Are you kidding? He's never expressed the slightest interest in men... until today. And I'm pretty sure that was motivated more by circumstances than anything else. After all, he had "the prize slut of the Fed" all alone in the showers. Who wouldn't take advantage of that?" His voice turned bitter near the end, and he looked down, away from the sympathy in Hunter's eyes.

"Hey. You're not a slut, Shawn, and I'll personally smack the next person who says that upside the head." Hunter stroked Shawn's cheek, turning him to face him again. "I love you." Shawn nodded, smiling a little.

"I know. I love you, too. But..." Now Shawn's voice trailed off.

"But what? You're in love with Mister 'King of His Ego'? Shawn, I've known that for months." Hunter's matter-of-fact statement took Shawn by surprise and he stared at Hunter, who grinned at him.

"You're not exactly the most subtle of people, Shawn. None of us have ever been monogamous---physically or emotionally. After all, we're Clique. I mean, me and Kevin..." Hunter paused, his expression darkening a little.

Shawn smiled crookedly and added,"Not to mention Scott and Sean... How's Kevin doing, Hunt? Have you heard from him recently?" /Poor guy. I mean, we love each other, but I'm a poor substitute for his other half./

Hunter flushed slightly and nodded. "Yeah. He called last night, actually. To wish me luck. He said he'd be back soon, but he wasn't sure when yet." The low voice contained obvious worry, and love.

Shawn put his hand over Hunter's. "He'll be fine, Hunt. And as soon as he's back, you'll be too busy to worry about me. He probably won't let you out of bed for a week."

Hunter shook his head."I'll always worry about you. I mean, you're... you." He grinned at Shawn's faintly indignant expression, then continued on a serious note. "You've been mooning after Jericho for months. Other people might not have noticed---and he certainly hasn't---but you can't hide something like that from me."

Shawn sighed. "Look, can we have this conversation somewhere else, please?"

Hunter nodded and stood up, unwrapping his arms from Shawn. He held out a hand to help Shawn up as he groaned, trying to straighten up. Shawn stretched, trying to work out some of the kink in his back, and Hunter wrapped an arm around him, helping him walk toward the doorway, stopping to grab his bag on the way out. Shawn glanced surreptitiously toward Chris on the way out, flinching a little as their eyes met unexpectedly. Jericho continued to watch them, unblinking, but Shawn looked away, shaken.

"Shawn...?" Hunter's voice was quiet. Shawn shook his head.

"It's okay. Let's just go, please." They walked together out of the building, Shawn limping slightly, Hunter's arm wrapped around his waist.

Shawn had to smile once they got to the garage. "Of course you'd have the good ride tonight, wouldn't you?" Hunter just smiled back, helping him into the car and tossing his bag into the back, sliding in next to him. He leaned forward to let the chauffeur know where to go, then rolled the privacy screen up and looked at Shawn, holding his arms out. Without hesitation, Shawn slid into them, wrapping his arms around Hunter in turn, enjoying the embrace. Hunter stroked Shawn's hair again, then cleared his throat.

"I know, Hunter. This is private." Shawn hesitated. "To satisfy your prurient, uncalled-for, nosey curiousity, yes, I'm in love with Chris Jericho. Damned if I know when or why, but I am." He raised his head up to look at Hunter. "Happy now that I've admitted it?" Hunter's mouth twisted.

"I'm not sure. Normally, I would be...but in this case, I just don't know. Although... I wouldn't be surprised if he felt something for you, y'know? He's been acting damned weird tonight."

Shawn lowered his head again, listening to Hunter's heartbeat. His voice was muffled, low. "Hunt, tell you what. Let's drop it for now, okay? It's a hopeless cause, and I'd like to enjoy this time with you. Even just this is great, y'know. Feels good. Even my back isn't hurting as much now..."

His voice trailed off, and Hunter looked down at him, alarmed at first, then smiled. Shawn had fallen asleep. Hunter lowered his face down to Shawn's, wrapped his body around him, and settled in to enjoy the ride to the hotel.


Chris didn't wait to finish watching the matches. After watching Shawn and Hunter cuddle and kiss, he just wanted to get back to the hotel. He'd noticed a few people who were surprised or shocked, watching Hunter kiss Shawn. /Idiots. I don't know how you could work here longer than a week and not know that Shawn swings both ways---or that Hunter does, for that matter, especially for Shawn and Kevin. Of course, I've hidden my preferences pretty well... / Shaking his head at himself, he picked up his bag and headed for the garage where he'd left his rental car.

He brooded the entire way to the hotel, parking his car and heading up to his room in a dark haze. He tossed his bag near the bed and sat down, staring at the wall, wondering what to do. He picked up the remote control and flicked the television on, channel-surfing for a few minutes before turning it off again. He contemplated the idea of room service, but a drink sounded like a better idea. /What the hell. Hit the bar, get plowed, sleep alone, and go to work tomorrow. Sounds good to me./

As he entered the bar, he was faintly surprised to find it mostly deserted, until he realised that it was still fairly early. /Of course. Everybody else is still at Safeco, watching the matches./ He walked up to the bar and ordered a drink, finding the darkest corner booth farthest from the door to sit in to drink it. When it was gone, he flagged down the server and ordered another one, and another one, and another... Before he realised it, he was too drunk to stand up, but not drunk enough to forget his troubles. Instead, he dwelt on what was causing his misery: A pair of clear blue eyes, shining hair, soft smiling lips, a nice body, a great ass...

/Shawn. Dammit. I couldn't have fucked up much better than I did, could I? What the hell's wrong with me? Instead of saying, "Hey, Shawn, I know you swing both ways---any interest in swinging with me?" I blurt out, "Hey, I hear you're the town whore---come do business." Fuck. Fucking crush on the man for years... to hell with that, I know it's not a crush. I've fucking been in love with Shawn Michaels for years. And I threw away any chance I might've ever had tonight with my big fucking mouth./ Without realising it, Chris's head sank down onto his crossed arms, his drunken sobs passing without notice in the dark corner.


"Shawn? Shawn, come on, time to wake up. We're here." Shawn reluctantly lifted his head, only to meet Hunter's amused gaze. "You know I wouldn't mind staying like this, but I'm sure your back would feel better if we got you into a proper bed."

With a groan, Shawn sat up. "Bastard."

Hunter laughed. "C'mon, let's see how many people we can shock on the way up to your room."

He helped Shawn out of the car, carrying his bag, and into the hotel, stopping at the front desk to pick up their room keycards. Shawn snickered at the raised eyebrows the two of them caused, arms wrapped around each other, walking through the lobby and into the elevators.

"How's your back doing?"

Shawn shrugged. "It's okay. Hurts, but not like it did earlier. Good painkillers... and comfy mattress."

Hunter smiled back at him. "C'mon, then. Let's get you into bed and I'll give you a massage. Get you all nice and relaxed."

"But no fondling? No groping? No followup to all those wonderful kisses?" Shawn flashed wounded eyes at Hunter, who laughed.

"Not tonight, unless you come wake me up. Which you're welcome to do. But you need some rest so you can walk tomorrow."

"Suppose you're right. Dammit. There'd better be a rain check here."

"You bet." Getting out of the elevator, they made their way down the hall to Shawn's room. Hunter ran the keycard and walked with Shawn into the room, dropping the bag in the corner as Shawn collapsed onto the bed with a groan, pulling off his shirt. Hunter searched through the bag and pulled out a bottle of baby oil, then joined Shawn on the bed.

"Ooh, baby. You tease," Shawn smiled.

"But I always follow through. Now, take off your jeans," Hunter ordered.

"What, no foreplay?" Shawn's lips quirked as he pulled off his jeans and turned over, sighing at the coolness of the baby oil as Hunter poured it onto his back, straddling him. He moaned as Hunter's hands started a slow, powerful massage on his aching back, pulling soft noises out of him as he slowly melted under the sure touch. Hunter's hands moved slower and slower, until he paused and looked over at Shawn's sleeping face.

Hunter carefully stood up, pulling the blankets up over Shawn's sleeping body. "Sleep well," he whispered, and quietly left the room.

"Well, where to now?" he muttered to himself, then shrugged. "What the hell? A beer sounds good."

He walked into the bar, waving at several other wrestlers who were present, and ordered a beer. Holding the frosted glass, he looked around for a place to sit. /I'm not after a ring rat, and I don't really want to chat about Shawn and our relationship with most of these people. And after our little display earlier, I'm sure that would be the topic of conversation.../ Finally, he saw an empty booth in the corner and headed that way, stopping suddenly as he got to it, realising that it was actually occupied. /What the...? God, it's Jericho. And he looks like shit. Well, here's my chance to find out what the hell's going on with him./ He slide into the seat next to Jericho and gingerly reached out, laying a hand on his shoulder. Jericho flinched violently and looked up, his eyes wide, his face tear-streaked.

"What the hell do you want?" he snarled. "Shouldn't you be off fucking Michaels through the mattress?"

Hunter tensed, then forced himself to relax. "No, actually, he's asleep due to a combination of painkillers and a good massage. Jericho... what the hell happened earlier tonight?"

"Didn't he tell you?" Jericho's voice was low.

"Not really. I heard part of it, though, and I want to know where the hell you get off saying things like that to him." Hunter leaned toward Jericho, his eyes intense. Jericho bared his teeth at him, then looked away.

"It's not... I... Shit. Would it make a difference if I told you that what I said wasn't what I meant?" Hunter frowned. There was an obvious thread of pain running through Jericho's voice, and the fact that he was sitting there half-drunk, when Hunter had never seen him lose control of himself before, spoke volumes to Hunter.

On a hunch, he asked, "So what did you really mean, Jericho? That you actually wanted him?" Jericho shivered and was quiet for so long that Hunter was afraid he'd passed out. Finally, he answered.

"No. What I really meant to say was that... I... I love him." A quiet sob. Hunter could only stare, shocked. "Isn't that hilarious? Me, the arrogant son of a bitch, hopelessly in love with the Showstopper, the Heartbreak Kid... It was my wildest dream, to be like him, to meet him, to be with him someday... and by the time I make it, he's gone. And just when I'm resigned to that, he comes back! He fucking comes back... to you." More sobs, and then Jericho buried his head in his hands.

Hunter reached out, pulling Jericho toward him. He resisted for a minute, then gave in and clung to Hunter, sobbing drunkenly on his shoulder. Hunter rubbed his back, trying to be comforting, not knowing what to say. /Jesus. Who would've thought? My night to be a crying post, huh?/ Finally, the sobs slowed and then stopped, and then Jericho spoke, not lifting his head from Hunter's shoulder.

"It's always been you, hasn't it, Hunter?"


"You. It's always been you. You and Shawn. You're the one he loves. And you love him. I heard you earlier tonight. I know it's true." The quiet words, said so calmly, with an unspoken hurt behind them, caused sympathy to well up in Hunter. He lifted Jericho's head to look in his eyes.

"You're right, Jericho. I do love Shawn, and he loves me." Jericho's eyes flickered shut at the words, and he tried to look away, but Hunter wouldn't let him. "But---and you have to understand this, Jericho---we're not exclusive. We've never been in a monogamous relationship. To be honest, I'm not sure that either of us is capable of being monogamous, with anybody. We've always been friends even when we weren't lovers." Hunter laughed. "Even when we weren't friends, we were good lovers." Jericho's brow furrowed in confusion as he tried to understand what he was being told.

"Look, it's like this. We love each other. We're lovers, off and on. But... we're not together. Right now, Shawn's been with me because Kevin's out, injured, but..." Hunter stopped, trying to make sure that Jericho understood what he was saying.

Very carefully, he said, "Just because he loves me, doesn't mean that he can't love anyone else. In fact, I know he's desperately in love with someone else right now, but that someone has always been totally clueless about it." Jericho blinked, suddenly much more sober than he had been a few minutes before.

"Hunter, why are you telling me this? You were ready to kick my ass fifteen minutes ago."

Hunter nodded. "Yeah, I was. But after what you told me, I thought it was important for you to know."

"Hunt... who are you talking about? That Shawn's in love with?" Jericho asked haltingly. Hunter looked at him for a minute, debating, then shook his head.

"I'm sorry, I can't tell you." At the hurt look on Jericho's face, he added, "It's just not my place, Chris. If Shawn wants you or anyone else to know, he'd have to be the one to tell you. Although... I can tell you this much. If you want to let Shawn know how you feel, let him know what you really meant earlier... you need to tell him. He'd like to hear it." Jericho's eyes widened again as the possibilities of Hunter's statement hit him. Hunter fumbled in his pocket for a minute, then handed something to Jericho. "Here. Take this, Chris. Go up to Shawn's room, wake him up, and talk to him. Be honest with him. You never know."

Jericho just stared at Hunter for a minute, his fingers wrapped tightly around the keycard that Hunter had just handed him, then nodded and got out of the booth. He took a few steps, then turned around again and asked frantically, "But what if he won't wake up? Or won't listen to me? Or... won't believe me?"

"Chris, just go. Go up there, wake his ass up, and tell him how you feel. Talk to him. Tell him anything you want, but talk to him---tonight." Hunter spoke firmly, trying to impart some confidence into the shaken Jericho. "Oh, and Chris... if you hurt him, I'll kick your ass so hard you won't even be able to think about sitting down for a year." Jericho nodded, hesitated, then hugged Hunter and left as quickly as he could walk.

Hunter sat back, drinking his beer as he watched Jericho hurrying out of the bar, a wide smirk on his face. /Well, well, well. Isn't Shawn in for a shock. I hope Chris isn't expecting him to be exclusive... I did warn him. Hmm. Wonder if Shawn'd be willing to share sometime...I think Kevin might like him./


Chris stood outside the door, shifting nervously from foot to foot, staring at the room number, wondering if he was brave enough to do this. /C'mon, it's easy... just swipe the keycard, and go in. That's all. Then just wake Shawn up---I wonder if he sleeps naked?---and talk to him. How hard will that be? Just... tell him how you feel. Right. Easy. Ha./ Finally, after he realised that a couple of other hotel residents had walked by, looking at him strangely, he raised the keycard and ran it through the reader, opening the door when the light blinked at him. /Holy shit. Here I go./

He had to stop just inside the doorway, letting the door swing shut behind him, blinking at the light difference. Hunter had left on the small lamp at the doorway, but otherwise it was completely dark in the room. There was just enough light from the table lamp to show Shawn, asleep in the bed. Chris dropped the keycard on the table and walked to the bed, his heart in his mouth. He took one look at Shawn and slowly sank down on the edge of the bed next to him, just watching him sleep.

Shawn had rolled onto his back, and in doing so, had pushed the covers down to his waist. His hair was spread out on the pillow behind his face, one arm was curled above his head, and the other was draped over his stomach. Chris noticed that the blankets were low enough on one side to reveal Shawn's hip, proving that Shawn did in fact sleep naked. Chris shivered, then tentatively raised a hand and laid it on Shawn's chest, lightly rubbing his fingers through the chest hair. He accidentally brushed a nipple and froze as Shawn moaned softly, murmuring something wordlessly. A little more daring, he ran a finger around the nipple, and Shawn moaned again, this time audibly: "Hunt...mmm... Chris..." Chris's breath caught in his throat and he yanked his hand away from Shawn, staring at him.

/He just said my name. Ohmigod. No, no, calm down, it could mean anything. He could be dreaming of kicking my ass. But why would rubbing his nipple make him moan my name? Oh, God, I just touched his nipple.../ Chris's thoughts tumbled over each other wildly, and he was suddenly aware that his pants had become very tight. He started to stand up... only to be yanked back down by an unexpectedly iron grip on his wrist.

"Not so fast, boy." Chris froze and looked back at Shawn, who was wide awake and looking straight at him. "What are you doing here?"

"I... I... Triple H. Hunter gave me your keycard and told me to come up here and talk to you," he managed to stammer. Shawn's eyebrow raised.

"Hunter gave you my keycard? Why? What bullshit did you feed him to make him do something that stupid?" Shawn demanded, sitting up, wincing, but still not releasing Chris's arm.

"I didn't. I was drunk... he sat down next to me, and asked why I was cr... was so upset, and I told him. I told him the truth, that I... I..." Chris's nerve failed him as his semi-coherent explanation sputtered to a halt, and he tried to jerk his arm away and stand up, so that he could get the hell out of there, but Shawn yanked him back down again.

"You were drunk and crying, huh? I'd be curious, too. Especially since you're the one who makes other people cry." Shawn's voice was harsh, but there was an odd light in his eyes. Chris winced, and said softly, "Look, I'm sorry for what I said earlier. I didn't mean it. It wasn't... wasn't what I'd wanted to say. It just... came out wrong. I didn't mean to hurt you."

Shawn glared at him. "What makes you think you hurt me?"

He flushed. "I... uh... watched you. You and Hunter. From the showers."

"Get your kicks from watching other people, boy? You seem to do it a lot." Shawn watched him steadily.

Chris shook his head. "No, I don't. Just... just you," he whispered miserably. Shawn's stare intensified.

"So what did you tell Hunter? What "truth" did you give him?"

Chris's heart leapt to his throat at the question, but he forced himself to look Shawn straight in the eye, to keep his voice steady, not to sound too pathetic... and he told him.


/Mm, Hunter, that feels so good.../ Shawn's sleeping mind equated the soft touch he felt with the massage Hunter had given him earlier, and he murmured, enjoying the touch. Then it occurred to him that Hunter had been massaging his back, not his chest, and that it didn't feel like Hunter's hand... and then the touch came again, a tentative, circling caress. He moaned softly, first Hunter's name, and then, as he awoke and realised who it was that was touching him, another name slipped out.

"... Chris..." /Wait a minute. Chris? What the hell?!/ And suddenly Shawn was very much awake, and grabbed Chris's arm as he tried to leave, pulling him back down on to the bed.

"Not so fast, boy," he growled. The look of shock on Chris's face would have been funny, if Shawn hadn't been so angry. /What the fuck is he doing in my bedroom... touching me? "No" isn't enough?/ Chris's uncharacteristically weak stammer only added confusion to the mix and he raised his eyebrow in disbelief.

"Hunter gave you my keycard? Why? What bullshit did you feed him to make him do something that stupid?" /Hunter is definitely going on my shit list for this one,/ he decided as he sat up, wincing as his back spasmed. Chris's nearly coherent answer sputtered to a halt, and Shawn was mulling over the possibilities behind it when Chris tried to pull away from him again. He tightened his grip and yanked Chris down beside him, his voice harsh, belying the sudden little bit of hope that he felt as he said coldly, "You were drunk and crying, huh? I'd be curious, too. Especially since you're the one who makes other people cry."

He actually felt better as he watched Chris cringe at that pointed remark, but was a little embarrassed at the response, the knowledge that he'd been seen crying on Hunt's shoulder somehow infringing on his privacy, making his next question rather nastier than he'd meant it to be. And then... Chris's whisper of "just you" did something to his heart rate, that little glimmer of hope trying to flicker into an actual light.

"So what did you tell Hunter? What "truth" did you give him?" he demanded, watching Chris's eyes, trying not to hope too much. As Chris hesitated, his heart started to sink, even though adrenaline was racing through his veins in anticipation of the answer. /My God. The only thing that would've prompted Hunter to give him my keycard and send him up here... no, it can't possibly be that. There's no way in hell. But what if...?/ Shawn's heart was in his mouth even as he stared coldly at Chris, waiting for this last, most important answer.

Chris looked him straight in the eye, his voice trembling slightly, as he said quietly, "That I love you."

Shawn's mind froze, seizing on that sentence, not able to focus on anything else. /Oh my fucking God. He said it. He actually said it. He can't mean it. He can't.../ But looking into Chris's eyes, seeing him tremble as he waited for a response, Shawn knew that it was true.

/Damn you, Hunter, I'm going to get you for this.../ Shawn blinked, breaking his stare with Chris, closing his eyes for a moment as an overpowering wave of emotion swept through him. His hand trembled, and as he opened his eyes again, he had to consciously steady himself as he reached out to touch Chris's face, cupping his cheek in his hand, and leaned forward to kiss him.

He brushed his lips over Chris's, intending just a quick, soft kiss, but Chris had other ideas. As their lips met, Chris's eyes widened, meeting Shawn's, and then his hands wrapped around Shawn's head, bringing him closer, and his lips parted, his tongue darting out to flick at Shawn's lips. At the touch, Shawn gasped softly, and Chris took the opportunity to slip his tongue between Shawn's lips, darting inside, teasing. Shawn shuddered, then responded with more intensity, pulling Chris up against him, tilting his head as he plundered his mouth. A moan escaped from Chris, and they broke the kiss, both trembling, staring at each other.

"God." Shawn could only nod at Chris's whisper, not finding words for a moment. Chris drew back from him, and he reluctantly loosened his grip, worried. /God, don't let me have scared him off. Don't let him have just been fucking around. Please let this be real./ Chris scooted back, then stopped, looking at him.

"What..." Shawn cleared his throat and tried again. "What's wrong?"

Chris looked self-conscious, but said softly, "You said earlier that you only go down for a select group of people, people that you care about. I just... I'd like to know if I'm one of those people." Shawn's eyes closed briefly as a chuckle escaped him. When he looked at Chris again, he tried to soothe the worry he'd inadvertently caused.

"Chris... do you know why Hunter sent you up here? Aside from his warped sense of humour, that is," he said wryly.

Chris shrugged. "I figured it had something to do with the fact that he got me to admit to him that..." He hesitated briefly. "That I love you, and that I've been in love with you for years, and had always thought of you as unattainable... and that watching you with him was killing me." Although he tried to act nonchalant about it, Shawn could see that he was still scared to death over having admitted that kind of feeling. He reached out and touched Chris's face, smiling at him.

"Hunter has an amazing knack with people. Don't ever underrate it. When he was in the locker room earlier today, he was furious with you, but totally confused as to why I was so upset over it. Believe me, you're not the first one to say something like that, or make that kind of assumption. But... you're the first person who's ever gotten that kind of reaction from me about it." He stroked Chris's cheek, hoping that he was making sense. "You're the only person who's ever said that who I've cared enough about to cry over."

He leaned forward and kissed Chris again, softly, as he told him, "In other words, Chris, I love you." A look of absolute joy came over Chris's face, and Shawn continued, his drawl thickening, "And believe me, boy, if you hadn't done such a number on me earlier today, I'd happily go down for you right now. Unfortunately, as things stand, I'm fairly limited at the moment to whatever I can do on my back."

He watched as the meaning of his statement made its way through Chris's mind, and was pleasantly surprised to find himself suddenly flat on his back with Chris claiming his mouth in a way that meant business. Shawn's hands found their way beneath Chris's shirt and were roaming freely over the chest he'd wanted so badly to touch for the last year, when Chris straddled him, bringing their crotches into exquisite contact, forcing Chris to break the kiss for a gasp, and ripping a moan from Shawn's lips.

Shawn's hands were suddenly touching only air, and as he looked down to see why, another moan forced its way out at the sight of Chris crouching above his cock, licking his lips. /Oh, sweet Jesus. If he goes down on me, I'm going to die. Please let him do it.../ Shawn thought hysterically, looking again in time to see an evil smirk creep across Chris's face. /Oh, dear God.../

Shawn gasped at the first touch of Chris's lips on his aching cock, his tongue lapping up the fluid seeping from the head. Then Chris paused, took a deep breath, and swallowed Shawn to the hilt, his chin brushing Shawn's balls. Shawn yowled at the sensation, his back arching as Chris deep throated him, massaging him with his throat muscles, and with a choked cry, poured his seed down Chris's throat as his orgasm took him, leaving his body shuddering and limp, his mind drifting.

He finally came back to himself when he heard a worried, "Shawn?" next to his ear, and slowly opened his eyes to see Chris lying stretched out next to him on the bed, stark naked.

"How... how long was I out?" he croaked, surprised by how rough his voice was.

Chris smirked. "Only a minute or two. Are you always that easy, or am I just that good?"

Shawn smiled at the smirk, and replied, "Neither... both. I've usually got great stamina---but I've been dreaming of you doing that for the last year."

Chris looked a little nervous. Shawn stopped him before he spoke. "Don't worry, I'm not forgetting you. I've been wanting this for a long time---but you would pick a night when I can't bend too much, wouldn't you?"

Chris smiled again, then asked, obviously guilty, "Hey... I didn't... hurt you too bad, did I? Nothing permanent, right?"

Shawn shook his head. "Nope. Just what I have to live with. But I have better things to worry about right now, Chris." He ran his hand down Chris's side, enjoying the feel of the bare skin, skimming his hip, then reached down and grasped Chris's erection. Chris gasped, his body jerking as Shawn slowly stroked him, feeling his own body start to respond to the sight. He ran his thumb around the head of Chris's cock, squeezing it gently before fisting it, rolling his balls in his other hand.

"Chris... how do you want to do this?" he asked softly. Chris stared at him blankly. His lips quirked. "Do you want me to bring you off with my hands, or do you want to slide up here and let me return the favour, or... do you want to fuck me?" A deep shudder ran through Chris's body at the last option, and feeling him jerk in his hands, Shawn grinned. "I take it you'd prefer the last option?"

"God, Shawn, do you have any idea how long I've wanted you? Since I was old enough to know what the feeling meant!" Chris gasped. "You'd better stop, or I'm not going to make it for any of the other options."

Shawn released him, then reached over Chris's shoulder to grab the bottle of baby oil that Hunter had left on the table earlier. Pouring some into his palm, he ran his hand over Chris's erection, coating it, before asking, "Do you want to do this, or shall I?"

"Let me, please, Shawn," Chris whispered, his voice unsteady. Shawn nodded, then laid back, pulling one leg up, and looked at him. He poured some of the baby oil onto his fingers, then rubbed it around Shawn's entrance, causing him to hiss in pleasure. Chris gently pushed one finger inside, until it was all the way in, then thrust slowly with it, until Shawn was writhing.

"God, more, please." Chris smiled, and inserted a second finger, scissoring them inside of Shawn, stretching him, drawing moans from him as he pleaded for more. He slid a third finger in, crooking his fingers, and finally hit the right spot. Shawn's back arched again as he groaned, his hands clawing at the bed, fully hard again and impatient for more.

"Dammit, Chris, stop teasing and get in there!" he panted, shuddering as Chris brushed the gland with his fingers again. He moaned as the fingers were withdrawn, but they were quickly replaced by something much larger and firmer, and he mewled as Chris started to push in.

"Shawn, are you okay?" he asked, concerned, pausing in his movements. Shawn's eyes flew open and he glared at the younger man as he snarled back, "If you don't start fucking moving, I'm going to kill you!" Chris snickered, then slid all the way in, tearing moans from both of them. He began slowly thrusting, changing the angle slightly each time, until finally he thrust forward and Shawn moaned loudly as he shuddered.

"Right there, right there, oh god Chris, like that, yes..." Shawn wrapped his legs around Chris's thighs, bringing him even closer, and his arms around his back, his nails digging in as Chris thrust faster, responding to Shawn's urgings. Shawn groaned, "More, please..."

Chris growled, lowered his head, and bit Shawn's neck, hard. Shawn yelped, then shuddered again, his moans reaching a higher pitch as Chris sucked at the bite mark he'd made, then nipped it again. Shawn cried out, his voice breaking, as his body convulsed in orgasm, his cock jerking spasmodically between them, his nails leaving gouges in Chris's back, until he collapsed, boneless, gasping for breath. Chris thrust harder, faster, losing his control as he felt Shawn come, and poured out his own orgasm, growling as he came, collapsing finally onto Shawn, exhausted.

"Oh. My. God." Chris finally muttered, raising his head to look at Shawn, who tried to stroke his hair but failed when he realised that his hands were frozen in claw-like forms from the force of his muscle spasms. Chris rolled off of him, grunting as they separated, and took Shawn's hands in his, massaging them until the muscles had relaxed again.

"Y'okay?" Shawn asked, his throat still raw. Chris nodded, rolling back onto his side with a wince.

"Yeah. But I think you got first blood." Shawn was confused until he looked again at his hands and noticed the blood under his fingernails.

"Oh, babe, I'm sorry. I didn't mean... I just... sometimes I just..."

Chris interrupted him. "Sometimes you just totally lose control?" Shawn nodded, and Chris grinned. "Hey, if I'm the one making you lose control, I'm not complaining." He paused. "Babe?"

Shawn reddened a little, but didn't look away. "I can't always call you "Chris," and I'm sure not going to scream, "Harder, Jericho, harder!"" Chris started laughing.

"It's okay, I like it. Let me just grab something to clean up with..." He stood up and went into the bathroom, running the warm water and returning with a damp washcloth, wiping himself and Shawn clean with it before chucking it across the floor. He laid back down on the bed, and Shawn pulled him into an embrace.

"This is going to make things interesting, you know," Shawn murmured. Chris raised his eyebrows. "We still have to hate each other on the show... and it's going to be hard as hell not to get all excited next time we throw each other around in the ring."

"Speaking from experience?" Chris asked. Shawn nodded.

"Yep. When DX was still around, it was damned hard whenever we had to take each other on. In more ways than one. That's the era that led to those interesting stories you heard, y'know." Shawn smiled.

"Hey... about Hunter..." Chris hesitated. "You love him, right?" Shawn nodded, the smile slipping away. "You'll still want to be with him... and maybe with other people, too?" Shawn hesitated before answering.

"I don't know if I can be monogamous, Chris. Hunter and Kevin are together, but Hunter and I... we've always been close. And the rest of the Clique... we've always been lovers. We all love each other." Shawn responded carefully, watching Chris start to close himself off. "But... I'm in love with you. It's something special, Chris. You're the one that I want to be with. I can't picture not being able to be with the others... but I don't think I'd want to live without you, now that I've got you. I'm not sure if I'm making sense, here, but I'm trying." Chris nodded, his eyes still cloudy, but clearer than before.

"I think I do understand, but it'll take getting used to. You guys are really free with sex because you all love each other, so there's nothing to be threatened by, right?" Shawn nodded, surprised by his perception.

"That's it exactly, babe. When everybody loves everybody else, sex doesn't become a big, threatening issue, because there's nothing to be jealous of. But we all have our significant others, the one person that we're with, that's our permanent relationship, even if we all share beds." He hesitated. "I know that'll take some getting used to for you... but... if you're interested, I can ask Hunter about a threesome, or just watching, or something. I know he'd be interested." Chris hesitated in turn, then slowly nodded.

"I think I like the idea, but the actuality will take some getting used to. Maybe when we've been together longer than a couple of hours?" He smiled, and Shawn smiled back, relieved.

"I know this is all real heavy talk to be having right away, but... I'm serious about this, Chris. I want this to work out. I want this to last." Shawn looked into Chris's eyes as he stated, "I love you, and I want to be with you."

Chris nodded. "Me too." He kissed Shawn, then whispered, "Now, how about some sleep? I don't know about you, but I had quite the workout today, and I'm dog tired." Shawn chuckled, pulled Chris close, and let his eyes fall shut again.

/I really will get you for this, Hunter.... I promise./

~ finis ~

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